Today we’ll be looking at King of the Cowboys (1943). As the title indicates, this film was made to establish Roy’s status among the cowboy actors. Up to this point, Gene Autry had been the number one singing cowboy. When WWII broke out, Autry joined the Air Force, while Roy was exempted because of his family. Republic took advantage of Autry’s absence to promote Roy to the highest rank among the singing cowboys. King of the Cowboys was the second film in the Rogers series to be released in 1943. Idaho (1943) was the first. Idaho was also the first b-western to ever play in the prestigious Lowes’ theater chain. Roy was ranked the number one b-western cowboy in 1943. All these events made the King of the Cowboys release perfectly timed. Roy truly was the King of the Cowboys – he had officially changed his name to Roy Rogers the year before. With the release of King of the Cowboys, Roy’s career really took off. Even after Autry’s return from the war, Roy remained the No. 1 cowboy hero in America. He had a 20,000-member fan club in London, England, the largest of it’s time. Roy’s films were also dubbed in Spanish and sold in South America (Trigger was known as Tigre in Spanish). So here we go: King of the Cowboys!
King of the Cowboys (1943)
67 minutes (black and white)
Producer: Harry Grey
Director: Joseph Kane
Screenplay: Olive Cooper and J. Benton Cheney
Cast: Roy Rogers, Trigger, Smiley Burnette, Pat Brady, Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers, Pegg Moran, Gerald Mohr, Dorothea Kent, Lloyd Corrigan, James Bush, Russell Hicks, Irving Bacon, Norman Willis, Stuart Hamblen, Emmett Vogan, Eddie Dean, Forrest Taylor, Dick Wessell, Jack Kirk, Edward Earle, Yakima Canutt, Charles King, Jack O’Shea
Plot: Roy was now officially the “King of the Cowboys”. In this film Roy works undercover to catch a band of WWII saboteurs who are blowing up government warehouses. Roy and Burnette join the Merry Makers Carnival after a comment from one of the actresses leads Roy to believe that the man they’re after may work there. Roy brushes with death a few times in this exciting adventure. First at a warehouse destined to be blown, then back at the carnival the villain nearly shoots him, and finally at a rigged railroad bridge.
Songs: “A Gay Ranchero”, “Ride ‘Em, Cowboy”, “I’m an Old Cowhand (From the Rio Grande)”, “Roll Along, Prairie Moon”, “Roses from the South”, “They Cut Down the Old Pine Tree”, “The Biscuit Blues”, “Ride, Ranger, Ride”, and “Red River Valley”
You can buy your own copy here: http://astore.amazon.com/rogersdale-20/detail/B004QWR6D2
This is the cut version unfortunately. Enjoy!